Last weekend, Leland and I went to a seminar. I sat just outside the door while Leland went in. Gideon kept making these excited little squeaks. I didn’t think it a big deal, though people kept turning to look at us. Eventually, a lady came out and told me that I would have to take Gideon elsewhere. She knew I had paid, but the baby was being distracting, and she didn’t want anyone to come yell at me.
I quickly apologized and took Gideon out to the car, steam coming out of my ears.
I was embarrassed, so I was angry.
Yell at me?! Who are they to yell at me! I have a little baby, and I still make the effort to come out to this meeting! I paid, darn it! They’re just like those snobs who don’t want kids at church, because the noises “disturb” them! Yeah – that’s what they are: snobs!
I sat there, fuming, as Gideon explored the car dash in glee, honking the horn and getting all the lights blinking. Well, I thought, I’ll just tell Leland I’m not coming to these anymore. They don’t want an honest mom trying to support them? Fine. I’ll just stay at home. See if I care. Leland can come alone.
The sun set. Everything was dark in the car. Gideon sat, fascinated with the blinking hazard lights.
I really wanted to be mad. But, the reasonable part of my brain (still somewhat intact at this point, thank goodness), finally piped up loud enough to be heard over my angry ranting.
Aren’t you being a bit of a snob? All these people spent money too, to come to this seminar and listen to the speakers.
You’re with Gideon 24/7. You’re used to his noises. I mean, you can do a whole final exam with him trying to crawl on your head, suck on your keyboard, while screaming at the top his lungs. Of course his “little baby noises” would seem inconsequential to you!
Remember, Brit, back before you were a mom, and that one baby was making all sorts of noises in the movie theatre. How rude that mom was, you thought. We all paid, you thought, and she just thinks we should have to sit through her distracting baby noises. Rude!
Ah, how quick we are to judge others. How quick they are to judge us. Wouldn’t it be so much nicer if the rational part of our brains were naturally louder than our judgy-judgy side?
That would be nice.
Made me think of Matthew 7:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged . . . And why beholdest the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? . . . Thou hypocrite.”
Aw man – now I’m a snob AND a hypocrite!
I sat, pondering, though. How could I strengthen my rational brain, to overpower my judgy brain? I don’t want to be that mom, who judges everyone else for “judging” her position as mom of a fussy baby, and refuses to take the baby out to remove distraction.
Imagine how many conflicts we could avoid if we could just exit this cycle of judgement? I perceive you judge me, so I judge you back, and stubbornly do something that ACTUALLY makes you judge me (sometimes, rightly so?), and the cycle continues.
ACTUALLY, an amazing book call “Leadership and Self-deception” talks about that exact cycle. They call it “collusion”.
- Someone offends us/ we are mad.
- Rational Brain tells us to be mature and take responsibility for the situation.
- We ignore Rational Brain, because we don’t want to take responsibility.
- We want to blame someone else for our embarrassment/ guilt/ etc. So, we try to demonize the other person in order to rationalize putting the blame on them.
- The more wrong they do, the happier we are, because it makes it easier for us to shift the blame from us to them!
Isn’t that amazing – and terrible?
Luckily, there’s a ticket out.
Listen to Rational Brain. This is sometimes a bit unpleasant. It may call you mean names like “snob” and “hypocrite”.
But, you know what?
It may be right.
So, I put Gideon to bed. Went back to the seminar – listened to some amazing speakers. Later, met some amazing people, who were lovely and wonderful – and not the least bit snobbish.
All thanks to my trusty Rational Brain/ conscience/ the spirit (which I should probably listen to a bit more often).
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth . . . we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father [Who chastens us] for OUR profit, that WE might be partakers of his holiness?
Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them . . .
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet.”